Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Inside the Amish town that builds U2, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift’s live shows   

DesignMusicTechnology

Stephen Armstrong, writing for WIRED, gives an intriguing glimpse into the company at the forefront of live show set design:

It’s always a difficult moment for designers such as Lipson and Williams when rock stars doodle their concepts for stage shows. To get a stadium tour from notion to opening night costs tens of millions. Thousands of people are needed to design, build, assemble, market and sell the show. The technology involved often doesn’t exist yet.

In this case, at first, the set design looked simple – a 61-metre-wide, 14-metre-high 8K LED video screen painted gold with a silhouette of a Joshua tree picked out in silver. During the second half of the show, the screen would show epic high-definition American landscapes shot by photographer and director Anton Corbijn. There would also be a tree-shaped catwalk and satellite stage extending into the audience, plus steel trusses that dangled lights and speakers high above the stage.

To deliver that concept, however, required at least three world-first equipment prototypes: a video-controlled follow-spotlight that tracked performers using a CCTV system; a state-of-the-art carbon-fibre video screen (the largest and highest resolution ever used for a concert tour, with pixels just 8.5mm apart); and prototype speakers from audio specialists Clair Brothers that are so powerful, only 16 speakers are needed to flood even the largest stadium with sound.

I’m always wowed by the spectacle of the massive sets and stunning tour productions put on by big-name artists, but I had no idea that so many of them come from the same source – Tait Towers. Take a look at the company’s impressive portfolio which includes work for The Academy Awards, AC/DC, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, The London Olympics, The Rolling Stones, and many more.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings?   

Politics

Max Fisher and Josh Keller reporting for the New York Times:

But there is one quirk that consistently puzzles America’s fans and critics alike. Why, they ask, does it experience so many mass shootings?

Perhaps, some speculate, it is because American society is unusually violent. Or its racial divisions have frayed the bonds of society. Or its citizens lack proper mental care under a health care system that draws frequent derision abroad.

These explanations share one thing in common: Though seemingly sensible, all have been debunked by research on shootings elsewhere in the world. Instead, an ever-growing body of research consistently reaches the same conclusion.

The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns.

The next time you hear someone proclaim, “guns aren’t the problem, ______ are the problem” stop and inform them that in fact guns are LITERALLY the problem.

Ontario minister refuses to release man from solitary who’s spent four years in isolation   

Politics

Adrian Morrow and Patrick White, writing for The Globe and Mail:

The minister in charge of Ontario’s prisons will not release from solitary confinement an inmate who has spent four years in isolation without trial despite a growing chorus of voices demanding action.

Community Safety Minister David Orazietti is under pressure to let Adam Capay, a 23-year-old First Nations man, out of the Plexiglas-lined cell at the Thunder Bay Jail where he is confined alone under 24-hour-a-day artificial light.

Mr. Capay was charged in 2012 with killing another inmate in a fight, and has not yet come to trial.

I read this story a few minutes after watching a Lonely Planet video showcasing Canada as the top pick in their Best in Travel 2017 list. In their description of our country, Lonely Planet highlights Canada’s “reputation for inclusiveness and impeccable politeness.” Perhaps someone should forward that link to the Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

An online petition is collecting signatures and requesting the end to the inhuman treatment of inmate Adam Capay.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Delete2Archive for macOS 10.12 Sierra

Apple

In September, Apple released macOS 10.12 Sierra. Due to some changes to the way Mail.app handled plugins, it unfortunately took me much longer to update Delete2Archive than I would have liked. After a month of searching and testing I was finally able to identify the compatibility issue and now have a version of Delete2Archive that is compatible with macOS Sierra.

However, I would strongly reinforce my prior suggestions that you try to get Mail.app working natively to archive your messages without the need of this plugin as Mail.app has come a long way since macOS 10.9 Mavericks in terms of Gmail support and I have not used Delete2Archive personally since macOS 10.9.2. In macOS 10.12 Sierra, there are now specific settings under Preferences > Accounts > Mailbox Behaviors that allow you to map your Gmail folders to their Mail.app equivalents, including the Archive mailbox. Please give it a try before downloading the latest version of Delete2Archive.

For those that still legitimately need the plugin, follow the installation instructions and download the new version of the plugin from the Delete2Archive page.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

An absurd week in America’s two-tier election   

Politics

Scott Gilmore, writing for Macleans:

Every day, Trump says something or is revealed to have done something that would have disqualified every other candidate for president over the last 40 years. Howard Dean’s political career ended after he yelled too loudly at a campaign rally. All Michael Dukakis had to do was pose for a picture in a tank and his campaign was over.

By contrast, Trump is exposed as a liar, a fraud or a bigot on an hourly basis. He is shown repeatedly to be ignorant of the most basic elements of the U.S. Constitution or international affairs. You could describe his entire campaign as a train wreck, if a train was able to crash day after day non-stop. But still, the pundits roll their eyes—“That’s just Trump being Trump”—and turn to Clinton’s cough.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Delete2Archive for OS X 10.11.4

Apple

Last week Apple released OS X 10.11.4, the fourth update to El Capitan.

As was done for prior versions of the operating system, I’ve released a new version of Delete2Archive that is compatible with the latest update. Follow the installation instructions and download the new version of the plugin from the Delete2Archive page.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Delete2Archive for OS X 10.11.2

Apple

Late last year, Apple released OS X 10.11.2, the second update to El Capitan.

As was done for prior versions of the operating system, I’ve released a new version of Delete2Archive that is compatible with the latest update. Follow the installation instructions and download the new version of the plugin from the Delete2Archive page.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Delete2Archive for OS X 10.11.1

Apple

Earlier this week Apple released OS X 10.11.1, the first update to El Capitan.

As was done for prior versions of the operating system, I’ve released a new version of Delete2Archive that is compatible with the latest update. Follow the installation instructions and download the new version of the plugin from the Delete2Archive page.